What does an electoral mandate mean in a democratic government?

Whenever an election result heavily favors one party or candidate, the commentariat class—those members of the media and political elite who feel qualified to act as final arbiters in determining the meaning of political and cultural events—brand that victory a “mandate.” This term is used as if the degree of victory somehow gives the winner greater legitimacy to act, lending an air of unassailable moral authority to the policies and initiatives pursued and casting dissenters…

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